Thursday, August 30, 2012

Exploring Big Sur

Despite living no more than 2 hours from Big Sur my entire life, I'd never been. I'd wondered if everything I'd heard about it was just hype. Turns out Big Sur really is wonderful. The views are great and I wish I could have captured it the way Mum and I saw it. We went to Nepenthe for lunch and ended up in the best seats in the house. The picture below is what we gazed at from our spot. 

We ordered the two house specials and split them. So yummy. Then we had a glorious chocolate cake.

We stopped by McWay Falls, which use to fall directly into the ocean. There was a landslide in the 80s and a bunch of silt built up the beach in the area, so the falls now fall onto the sand. But just look at the color of the ocean. I want to find some yarn in that color. (Actually, I might have some in that color. I'll have to go stash diving soon.)

And as if the day couldn't get any better, we saw a huge number of whales swim by. Mum and I weren't sure if they were Gray Whales or Humpbacks, but there sure were a lot of them. Unfortunately I only had a 50mm fixed lens with me, so I couldn't get a better picture of them. I've put in an arrow to point out the whale's back.

On our way back I got the all important jumping picture by Bixby Bridge. It was a good day indeed.

Friday, August 24, 2012

In The Name Of Free Shipping

Design #9 is ever growing, and I realized after talking about it on Tuesday that I was going to need a longer cord. Unfortunately I only had a 40" cord for my interchangeables, so I spent some time on Knit Picks getting a few more cords, including a 60" and little cord connectors. As with any Knit Picks purchase, if you hit $50, you get free shipping. So like everyone else who has ever bought something on Knit Picks, I spent some time seeing if there was anything else I might need. You know... in the name of free shipping.
Looks who was a good sport about sitting by the cords. There was even a fly buzzing around his ear and he stayed still. Scooter hates flies. I think he was motivated by the treat I promised him.

I've heard good things about The Sock Knitter's Handbook. In the interest of expanding my sock designing capabilities, I put that book in my cart. (It should be noted that when I got the handbook today, within the first 5 minutes of reading I learned something about a type of toe I thought I knew everything about.) Every time I'm at work I pick up the Sock Knitting Master Class. So that went into the cart. I could have gotten it at work, but the lure of free shipping is strong. I did hit the $50 at this point, but hadn't checked the sale section of Knit Picks.... so of course I had to look. Lo and behold, I found something. I was quite excited to see Rebecca Burgess' dye book, Harvesting Color, available. Rebecca did a fibershed project where she wore clothing sourced within 100 miles of her home. She would come to the mill where I worked to get fiber spun up. (I never did get to meet her as she would come after I got off of work.) I think it is safe to say that her book is my new favorite thing. And while it is full of great information, what really really blows it out of the water is the photography. Paige Green did an amazing job. And I do not say that lightly. I want to live in the world that Paige has captured.

Funnily enough, once I had earned my free shipping, I realized that it meant I could be waiting 5-14 days. The last time I ordered from Knit Picks, it took closer to the 14 days. I'm within a day or so of needing the longer cord, so I went ahead and paid for the 2 day shipping. It was worth it. I got some much needed instant gratification.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Design #9 - The Sneak Peek

After finally coming up with a swatch I was happy with, I bought the yarn for design #9. Actually, I bought far more yarn than I need for design #9. What can I say? I tried to estimate the yardage I needed, then I panicked.
The picture below is of 18 out of the 20 skeins I now have (not counting the skein that I was swatching with but doesn't match in dye lot with the rest of these guys). I'm not going to lie, I winced when I swiped my card. But it sure beats running out of yarn while binding off.

So I've spent that last few days watching lots of Magnum, P.I. and knitting this monster. It will be an epic blanket when I'm done. My knitting prowess will be worshiped. Well, at least by Scooter. He is quite fond of knit blankets. Although for now it just looks like a a basket of noodles.

On a slightly separate note... and perhaps this is silly since I haven't even finished this book, but I'm already fantasizing about my next book. Because, apparently, I just love to torture myself with long term projects. No instant gratification for me. (I really could use some instant gratification right about now.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Running Of The Mantises

We've had an influx of praying mantises in the garden recently. I don't think I've seen any mantises in the garden for years, but in two days I saw two rather large guys. I named this one Manty.

A day later we met Manny the mantis. And they are quick!

As I was taking pictures, Manny decided to grab onto my camera lens.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Decade Of Scooter

Today Scooter turned 10 years old! We spent the day doing Scooter stuff. Walkies, treats, and chest rubbies were given. Part of the birthday tradition is that I don't brush Scooter's teeth on his birthday. We also let him roll on the lawn for as long as he wanted.

We were quickly reminded as to why we don't usually let him roll around on the lawn. He smelled awful afterwards! So Scooter got a birthday present he would rather not have gotten: a bath.
Just look at that happy Scooter face. The ecstasy of rolling in a stinky bit of the lawn.

If you are wondering about the sock, Scooter scraped a bit of his foot pad the other day. He's fine. We just put the sock on him to keep him from licking it too much.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Not Superwash? The Horror!

I've had a knitting tragedy. I was about to start a pair of Velomeister socks out of the yarn in the picture below when I read the label and discovered that the purple isn't superwash. The horror! (I fully realize that if this is the worst thing that is happening in my life, I've got it pretty good.) I think I'll be knitting the socks anyways. I'll just have a hand wash pile of laundry somewhere. But it is a little annoying not to be able to throw socks in the regular laundry pile.
 The purple is Koigu in the Prince colorway and the yellow is Tosh Sock in the Edison Bulb colorway.

I'm still swatching for design #9. At first I had chosen a yarn that was a little too dark and didn't have a tight enough ply to show off the design. So I've swapped yarn, but I'm still having trouble getting the pattern to pop. The voice in the back of my mind says that it is a scale issue, so I'm back with the graph paper trying some new things. But, of course, I can only show you the underside of the swatch for now.

So I'm back to knitting my mitten. I only seem to pull this out when all my other knitting has made me more angry than working on the mitten. There is nothing really wrong with it. Although I've had my share of ripping, re-knitting, and various adjusting, the actual knitting is pretty easy now. But for some reason I just haven't had it in me to finish it yet. Hopefully I'll have them done by the time it's cold again. After all, I only have this one left to finish. Good thing the yarn is a delight to use. It's Kauri fingering in the Green Peka 04 colorway.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Any Gauge Ribbed Socks

I don't know about the rest of you, but really dislike knitting swatches. I never get gauge and it makes sock knitting in particular rather difficult. Most of my socks are knit on size 0 and I still can't get "normal people" gauge.

Awhile back I had talked about putting out my ribbed sock pattern. And what made this one so wonderful is that it doesn't matter what gauge you get. You measure your foot, your one swatch, and do two simple calculations. Then you match your magic number to one of the cast on numbers and knit your socks. No thinking, just knitting. I've done all the thinking for you. Your welcome. 

As a bonus, the formula can be used for more than a ribbed sock. You can easily plug in stitch patterns if you wish. These socks are knit toe up. The instructions feature a short row toe and heel. Any toe or heel method can be used in place of the short row method. 

If you are interested in getting a copy of the Any Gauge Ribbed Socks pattern, it can be found on, ravelry, and craftsy.

A big thank-you to kiwipurler for all her help in getting this pattern ready. It wouldn't have been possible without her. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Consumed By The Book

I was looking back at some of my older blog entries from October of 2011. I had been working on The Book for a few months at that point and was starting to grasp what a large project it was. If I knew then what I know now, I don't know if I would have continued on. Today while chatting with my father, I was told that every entrepreneur has said the same thing. If they had known how long a project was going to take at the beginning, they would have never started. I guess it's a good thing I didn't know. I'm too far along to stop now. I only wish I could start posting pictures of the projects now! Things are turning out even better than I could have hoped. (I also wish I had other things to talk about, but The Book has started to consume my life.)

Photo shoot #4 went extremely well. As Mum and I dropped everyone off and headed back home, I realized that I had no pictures to share... again. So I took a few shots of the sunset. As we drove away from the coast and past the creeping fog, I turned up the heater, opened the window, and let the cold air whip the hair around my eyes.
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